For several years I was regularly running “Make Your Own Hula Hoop” workshops for women. I was recently asked to run one but am unable to do so due to time constraints, but offered to share the instructions for how to do so. Then I thought, I’ll just share them with everyone! Making hula hoops is pretty easy, REALLY fun, and very affordable (depending on how many people are pitching in & which tapes you use).
Why Make Hula Hoops?
Hula Hoops are super fun for kids and adults- you can do so much more with them than you would think! Around the waist, hips, overhead on the hand (like a lasso)- the tricks are endless AND it’s a great workout.
Also, making an adult-sized hula hoop that fits you is really going to help you be a successful hooper. The bigger/heavier the hoop- the slower it revolves, which means the slower you have to move to keep it up AKA it’s easier. So if you’ve tried as an adult with a kid’s hoop, there’s pretty much no way you could have been successful. Don’t give up! Just practice and celebrate, even when the hoop only goes around once or twice. I promise there is no one who can’t get the hang of it.
Also- if keeping it up on your waist is hard, almost everyone I’ve met has had an easier time with some of the off the body tricks- like lassoing overhead or rolling over your hand in front of you. Check out www.hooping.org for free tutorials, videos, inspiration and more! Hoopgirl and Hoopnotica are the two big hoop companies out there with DVD’s for sale- both instructional and fitness. There are also likely several hula hooping groups in your area you could join.
P.S. The cool kids call it “hooping” (drop the “hula”).
Here’ s a fun,short little video for some inspiration.
I say to make this a party because you have to buy the PVC tubing in big rolls- you can get 8-10 hoops out of one roll, depending on their size. You could make that many for yourself, but its really fun (and a lot more affordable) to do this as a group. A bunch of you could pitch in or this would be a fun activity for a women’s group or a kid’s party.
What You’ll Need
- Roll of Poly-tubing (clean with a damp cloth first)
- Ratcheting PVC cutter (the best way to cut tubing)
- Insert-connectors (1″ connectors for 1″ tubing ; 3/4″ for 3/4″ tubing)
- Colorful tape
- Hairdryer(s) (to soften the tube ends)
****** Click Here for the detailed, wonderful instructions *******
There are also great links from the instructions to videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to decorate the hoops. You can stick with really simple patterns or get as intricate as you like.
For the purposes of a party, I suggest a really big space- like a backyard- but you’ll want access to an electrical outlet for the first bit. Bring snacks, drinks and some music.
Have one person be in charge of cutting the tubing (especially if kids are involved- an adult must do this part). Then I like to send people off in pairs to help each other use the blow dryers to heat the cut ends and insert the connectors, since it’s a little awkward and can take some muscle. Again, I recommend adults doing this part for kids (the heated tubing can get really hot).
Once people have a connected circle, its simply time to decorate. This part is going to take the longest (I’d budget about 2 hours for the whole process).
If you decide to get sparkly, shimmery, or holographic tape its best to order online from www.identi-tape.com. They have a whole section just for hula hoop tape. Heads up- it’s beautiful, but pricey. The nice thing about this tape is it has a backing- meaning people can just cut lengths of it, instead of using the whole roll- so more people can be taping with it at the same time.
Electrical tape is very affordable, easier to use, and can be purchased locally (it’s a little stretchy and can be easily peeled up and reapplied) BUT you’ll want to get a lot of rolls of it- people won’t be able to share the same roll at the same time.
Adding a Gaffer’s tape is similar to electrical tape (more expensive though) and is a fabric tape- the extra texture will make it easier for the hoop to stay around your waist vs. falling to the floor.
As the facilitator I would often go around and pick up trash, help people if they needed an extra set of hands, and teach people some tricks when they finished their hoop. I would also try to console the perfectionists- sometimes tape gets stuck to itself or the spacing changes as you work around the hoop- it doesn’t matter! Its just a hula hoop and once its spinning its going to be a beautiful blur of color.
This is a really fun workshop/party and I hope you enjoy.
Fun Question: If you were going to make a hula hoop, what 2 or 3 colors would you use?